Sentencing handed down in hostage case
by LUCINDA CORNETT
As last year’s Thanksgiving holiday was coming to an end, a hostage situation capped off events in the early morning hours following Thanksgiving Day.
According to police, officers responded to a reported hostage situation in Hazard involving Peter Cassinelli, Cynthia Walker, a child and Eugene Walker. Though no one was seriously hurt in the incident, Eugene Walker was arrested and charged with three counts of kidnapping, six counts of wanton endangerment and a one count of second-degree assault.
Walker was later indicted on those charges and has now been sentenced on charges stemming from that holiday night.
Walker was charged with holding Cynthia Walker, Cassinelli and the child at gun point. He allegedly hit Cassinelli with the pistol. Last Thursday, Walker was sentenced on three amended charges of unlawful imprisonment as well as the wanton endangerment and assault charges.
Last week, Perry Circuit Judge William Engle III accepted a previous plea agreement between Walker and the Commonwealth and sentenced Walker to a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on each charge, to be probated for five years on each as well. The sentences are to be served at the same time.
Additionally, Walker must attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings and meet other conditions of his probation.
Sentencing in Walker’s case had originally been set for July 19, but Judge Engle reset the hearing for last week in order to have Cynthia Walker and Cassinelli present. During sentencing, Cynthia Walker told the court that the minor child was Walker’s grandchild and he had custody of the child at the time.
According to her statements to the court, the child lives with another relative out of state now. She also noted that Walker didn’t point the gun at the child that night. “He mostly pointed it [the gun] at himself.”
Eugene Walker is scheduled for a status hearing in November.
At least two other people received sentences last week in Perry Circuit Court as well. George Hurt was sentenced to a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months, suspended for 12 months in October of 2003 on charges of facilitation to commit burglary in the second-degree and receiving stolen property under $300.
Hurt was found to havefailed to comply with the conditions of his probation and his probation was revoked. Last week, Judge Engle sentenced him after the revocation to a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months. Hurt will receive credit for any time already served in the case.
Judge Engle also sentenced Euna Combs last week. Combs was charged with contempt of court stemming from a civil case. Judge Engle sentenced her to 120 days confinement a the Kentucky River Regional Jail.
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